US-UK Travel Corridor Unlikely Before Fall

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Many countries have tried to come up with Travel Corridors with Singapore – Hong Kong as the best example (have burst already twice or thrice and still not in place). The Trans-Tansman one has been more successful but is currently closed due to imported Covid-19 cases from Australia to New Zealand.

The Financial Times reported on Monday that the hopes of having a US – UK Travel Corridor in time for the 4th of July holiday is all but lost and that a more realistic time frame could be perhaps September.

Here’s an excerpt from the Financial Times:

Officials involved in talks about a US-UK travel corridor, which started last week, said they thought it was increasingly unlikely they would reach a conclusion by the end of next month, as some had originally expected.

Instead they said a combination of the spike in cases of the Delta variant in the UK, the complexities of the US political system, and uncertainty over the status of AstraZeneca’s vaccine were set to extend the talks into August and even September.

Another person familiar with the discussions said the UK was pushing for an agreement far more than the US.

Finalising a US-UK travel corridor is further complicated by how many parts of the US government have a say on coronavirus-related travel rules, including the Department of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state department and the White House.

Conclusion

You need both parties to agree, and opening the “travel corridor” is a more pressing issue for Downing Street than the White House.

Nothing prevents Brits with valid ESTAs from entering the United States by first spending two weeks in countries such as Mexico or Turkey.

You can only imagine how much money British Airways and, to a certain extend, Virgin Atlantic are losing every day when most of their transatlantic network is closed for business.

It is easy to put up all these travel restrictions, but it has been and still is very difficult to remove them, and sometimes they are rolled back, as we reported earlier today.

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